Friday, December 2, 2011

The Clothes Off My Back (10)

Good morning! Time for another "Look! Clothes!" post? I think so.

The estate sale season seems to be winding down for the dreaded winter doldrums, so I've been mining the local Goodwills like it was a paying job (would that it WERE a paying job), and as usual the typical joints did NOT disappoint. I'm on my way out to make a sweep of three in a row after work before the half-off-first-Saturday of the month sale has its inventory-decimating effect, so maybe, just maybe! I'll have more to report about in the not so distant future. But for now, onto the outfits of maybe-a-month-but-not-so-long-ago!

This shirt, a Mossimo Target number (aren't they all?), was marked with the right color tag for the 99 cent rack, and I bought it with hesitation because it's been a looong time since I bought a button up shirt. But here we are! And has it grown on me. I love the fingerprint/amoeba pattern and the colors are very mohd-drennnn, if you will. What I really love about this outfit, though, is the Louis Vuitton looking bag I got at the outlet Goodwill! Meaning I think it cost me all of a dollar and a half. First, understand the bizzare-o world retail space of the outlet--there are these huge, six foot long by six foot wide rolling tupperware-y tubs with items just tossed in, vaguely categorized ("housewares, bags, clothes, books" seems to be the rough sort-by-type), and being manhandled, thrown, and dug through by a constantly changing but never decreasing in number cast of shoppers. A woman with a shopping basket full of six or seven purses put this one and another sixties', woven basket style purse back in one of the containers before she went to the cashier's station, and I, of course, snapped it up. See the hugely oversized dimensions compared to the purses I usually carry! And the sweet curves to the shape of the purse! How could I pass it up?

Now, when I got the purse, all the fixtures on the outside were a dull grey, too-worn out painted-leather, which gave the whole thing a gross, early 80's, overused look. The handle had no covering on it at all, but was stripped to the forming-wire. I thought about spraypainting the leather parts, but this would be tricky as there were the gold studs I wanted to stay gold, and a LOT of wicker to masking tape. And what was I going to do with the handle? While I pondered different ways of blocking it out, I came across some black electrical tape, and was struck by a felicitous solution. Cutting strips and carefully tacking the tape under the studs with a butter knife, I covered all the leather hardware AND the handle with the electric tape, and VOILÀ. The black makes a great contrast with the wicker, plus the electrical tape makes it look more faux leather than if I painstakingly spray painted it. I love it when a plan comes together! I now carry this purse pretty much every day and feel very much like Jane Birkin. A happy ending if ever I heard one.

This was another fall day outfit... I've shied away wearing black on black lately unless I can pep it up with some key color to offset all the black, and in this case, it was gold. Gold peeptoe flats, hubcap sized gold Sarah Coventry pinwheel earrings, and the kingfish pin make me feel more cosmopolitan gal than bereaved loved one. One neat thing about the earrings? If the wind blows towards you while wearing them, you can hear a weird, whistly, weathervane kind of noise, right in your ear. These are also dangerous for hugs, because the points of the pinwheel are supersharp for some reason. I think I seem standoffish sometimes when hugging people and wearing these, when really I only fear for their safety!

At left: seventies' patterned button up shirts and blouses were once the very core of my high school and college wardrobe... I was forever in blue jeans and the Salvation Army, cursing the fact that this or that vintage Diet Rite ad colors shirt was eight times too large for my slight upper body (and, infuriatingly enough, this or that pastel Jackie O suit's skirt was two times too small for my pear shaped lower body. It was like my figure was created not to fit into fitted vintage clothes). However! I did hit upon a number of frill necked, shoulder grazing collar tipped, blindingly patterned polyester pretties in the correct size, and that was really my "thing" in the late 90's and early 2000's. While cleaning out the attic, I found an entire trunk of clothes that I don't think had been opened since college, and in it, this top, one of my MOST FAVORITE from the good old days of fitted shirt wearing. It always reminded me of Dinah Shore in a pant suit or some similar mid 70's tv appearance appropriate outfit. This shirt was always solo with a black skirt or jeans or pants-- minimalist, if such a term can be applied to 70's patterns. That is, UNTIL I found the skirt, which is part of a three piece mod-collared jacket, sleeveless blouse, and skirt ensemble I followed a man (??) around Hendersonville Goodwill for twenty minutes to acquire. The color just SANG to me from across the room, and eventually, after much sturm and drang, including said man asking an employee about the set, looking again and again at the separate pieces, and his eventually replacing it on the rack, I snagged it. Maybe the $12.99 price tag (I hate how knit-sets and suits are all priced the same, more than $7.99 price) scared him off. Incidentally, have you noticed a lot of my best finds involve items snatched from the brink of someone else's cart? Anyway, note that the skirt is the EXACT OUTRAGEOUS ORANGE of the shirt's orange pattern. Kismet! I wore this to double Thanksgiving at my mom's house and Bab's brother's house in Murfreesboro. Probably my new favorite outfit.

At right, the same outfit I wore to the Psychedelic Furs concert at the Cannery Ballroom earlier in the year, recycled for a workday that necessitated "self-esteem boosting dress up". Not that I don't usually don the dog to go to work, but I felt like wearing something particularly pretty after a haggard day or two in forced spectacles-wearing (ugh! Why are my super-high prescription glasses so disfiguring?! You'll never see a photo of me in them on this blog for that reason). You can't see here but the skirt is a full circle, draped in a way that swishes as you walk (Goodwill, $7.99). Also, that cardigan is my new favorite summer-to-winter-wear conversion piece (the short sleeved one from earlier is still cute, but not slimming nor warm enough for my taste. Le sigh).

Last but not least, the holiday season is upon us!

As we trundled down out of the attic swathed in red and gold garlands, Matthew took a moment to rememberthe true meaning of Christmas. Which is getting to hug a pink aluminum Christmas tree out of sheer joie de Noël. Or... joie de kitsch. At any rate, we're excited to get to decorate again! Have you guys put up your decorations yet?

Til next time!


  1. For the love of pink tinsel! Yes, Christmas is creeping into my apartment this week too. I love all of your outfits, especially your dangerous pinwheel earrings and marlin pin!

  2. If you're going to put up decorations it's the law that they have to be pink and tinselly!
    Love your outfits and your latest bag. x



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